One Health, Part 2

Project Title:

Operationalizing a One Health approach in the Arctic, Part 2 (One Health II)

Project Leads:

Canada, U.S., Finland


A continuing project from the U.S. Chairmanship (2015-2017)

Target Completion Date:

May 2019

Project Report May 2019:

Project Summary:

One Health is a theoretical concept and practical approach for developing and sustaining broad interdisciplinary collaboration – to identify, prevent, and mitigate health risks in humans, animals and the environment.  Recognizing that ecosystem linkages and interdependencies necessitate a holistic approach to health issues is a core tenet of One Health.
A One Health approach therefore, requires diverse experts and wide ranging stakeholders in addressing the complex health issues at the human – animal – ecosystem interface.

The objective of the project is to operationalize a One Health approach in the Arctic to forge co-equal, all inclusive collaborations across multiple scientific disciplines and Arctic communities in order to enhance resiliency of the Arctic inhabitants through an enhanced understanding of climatic change impacts on health risks to people, animals, and the environment.  This is a multi-phase project to help advance the fundamental understanding of climate change vulnerabilities and impacts on community and ecosystem health in the Arctic region, and to encourage the transition from knowledge to action through the development of decision-making tools. 

The associated health risks for humans, animals and plants include potential changes in pathogen proliferation and vector borne diseases, effects on drinking water quality and availability, environmental contamination, effects on the quality and availability of food, and changes in animal species distribution, among others. 

During Part I (2015-2017), the project conducted an online survey of One Health awareness and practices to improve the understanding of where, how, and why (or why not) individuals and organizations use a ‘One Health’ approach in their work in the Arctic. Conferences and workshop sessions to discuss the One Health concept were also convened during this first phase.  In addition, a Table Top Training Exercise (TTX) was held in Anchorage, AK, USA, from February 1 – 3, 2017. More than 40 participants attended from a variety of backgrounds, including public health, food safety, medicine and veterinary medicine, meteorology, wildlife and land management, and emergency response. The TTX presented a hypothetical One Health scenario, such as a disease outbreak that has implications for humans and animals, a wildfire, or a mass die-off of wildlife. Stakeholders were then asked to formulate a response plan. [ See Phase I Report. ]

During Part II (2017-2019), the project will continue to build ties between human, animal, plant, and environmental health stakeholders in the circumpolar region, as a key strategy for adapting to rapid environmental change.  Emphasis is placed on: 1) continued knowledge and information sharing; 2) further simulation exercises that identify strengths and areas for further capacity building; and 3) cooperative activities to address observed events (such as those identified by the Circumpolar Local Environmental Observers (CLEO) Network). It will also work to build relationship with traditional and local knowledge holders -­‐ as well as relevant stakeholders in other working groups, such as AMAP, ACAP, and CAFF.

Click Here for the Full Project Plan;   One Health Work Plan update (Mar. 2018)

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